You Must Grow Spiritually
Heb. 5:12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic elements of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food;
Heb. 5:13 for everyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is unskilled in the word of righteousness.
Heb. 5:14 But solid food is for the mature, for those whose faculties have been trained by practice to distinguish good from evil.
There must be continual growth in the Christian life or we will be unable to withstand the onslaught of the world. There are basic elements of faith which must be learned and these are the mother’s milk of our faith. However, just as an infant grows and cannot be continually fed by milk, so a follower of Jesus Christ must grow. An infant is unable to take on the complex nature of the world around them and instead they simply nurse, completely dependent upon their mother. When we are born again we are to grow up into righteousness, or the very nature of God. For this to happen we must move beyond milk and onto solid food for we need to be well-fed to tackle the things of this world. When we are discipled we become strong of heart and mind and in this way we are trained “to distinguish good from evil.” This spiritual life is a continual journey and on this journey there must be growth.
While there are pockets of places where we see discipling occurring, for the most part we do not see this intentional focus on growing in the spiritual life. I’m afraid its the busy nature of our lives and the legitimate distractions that can keep us from our daily walk with the Lord. However, if that is the case, then we are not moving beyond where we should be spiritually and we are weak because we are still living on milk. But maybe we are stuck on milk because we’ve never grown beyond milk. This means that we have many around us who have come to know Christ but then never develop beyond this spiritually. I really wonder if this is even possible, or is this resulting in infanticide! Are there those who are being brought to faith but because they are not being nurtured are dying out in their spiritual infancy? What does that mean for the church.
Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples. It’s an active statement that we are, in our going to be discipling. This act of making disciples and discipling others is to be an on-going, ever-present part of who we are — the very nature of our being. We are to be leading others constantly in their spiritual development. This is the responsibility of every single believer. However, for this to happen we, too, must be growing in our faith. This means that we must also be in the process of being discipled.
When we refuse to move on spiritually we become unprepared for the issues that confront us. We live in an ever more complex world and in order to engage in the issues and have meaningful conversations we must be prepared. We must move on from milk and be eating some pretty solid food to be able to have the depth to be a participant in the much-needed conversations about issues in our day. To be prepared in this way takes time and effort. It takes growth.
We cannot be satisfied with a simplistic and milk-fed spiritual life. This will not provide us with the resources we need to engage an ever-increasingly complex world with the good news of the gospel. We must move on and grow spiritually, eating of the richness of those who have already prepared the way for us in the kingdom of God.
Lord, please help me to grow in you today. Amen.